Like the rest of the real estate sector, business leasing and development were greatly affected by the 2008 economic crash and subsequent recession. In addition to the profound lack of liquidity and difficulty obtaining credit for large transactions, parties are currently proceeding with extreme caution and an eye toward limiting exposure. Developers, lenders, owners, and tenants alike are trying to negotiate new, more complex contract provisions that they hope will serve as bulwarks against risk. In this environment, clients need sophisticated real estate counsel who understand the new market dynamics and can keep projects moving forward without delay.
Cozen O’Connor represents local, regional, national, and international owners, operators, developers, contractors, landlords, and tenants. We counsel clients on the acquisition, disposition, development, financing, and leasing of a broad range of office, retail, and industrial properties.
We handle the development of state-of-the-art office towers, office parks, mixed-use projects, warehouses and flex buildings. In the retail sector, we handle, among other projects, in-line centers, power centers, big box centers, grocery-anchored centers, malls, lifestyle centers, urban and suburban business districts.
Our nationally renowned office, retail, and industrial development practice immediately distinguishes us from our peers. Over the last decade, many big law firms have shifted away from so-called “dirt law” in order to focus exclusively on real estate finance, leaving the development work to boutique firms that often lack the requisite skills or capacity to handle large, complex matters. Cozen O’Connor has taken a different approach. We understand that financing is just one (albeit critical) piece of the puzzle and that development clients need coordinated assistance in the areas of real estate finance, public finance, land use, zoning, tax, environmental, and corporate law. As long as our clients engage in commercial development, we will provide them with the full array of necessary legal services.
Another distinguishing feature of Cozen O’Connor’s practice is that we handle high-level leasing of all three types of major business property—office, retail, and industrial. While there is certainly overlap among the three, the economics and contract considerations are vastly different. For example, shopping center tenants care a great deal about what business operates next door, whereas office tenants are largely unaffected by their neighbors. Office building owners invest in building aesthetics, whereas warehouse owners prioritize proximity to a highway exit. Cozen O’Connor’s attorneys are closely attuned to the specific needs and interests of each client in the leasing practice, so we are able to draft tailored and lasting contracts.
Represent entrepreneurs, joint venture partners, and equity participants in connection with their acquisition, construction, and development of office, retail, and industrial properties
Negotiate leases on behalf of property owners and tenants, including office leases, retail leases, industrial leases, ground leases, build-to-suit leases, anchor tenant leases, corporate headquarters leases, in-line store leases, bond leases, entertainment and sports complex leases, and transportation center leases
Counsel commercial developers in connection with all phases of the construction process, with an emphasis on project development, land use, construction disputes, and litigation